This article is adapted in part from written testimony the author submitted to the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The promise of 5G, the next generation of wireless communications technologies, is alluring. New capabilities enabled by much greater bandwidth at higher speeds and lower latency than is possible today are expected to transform the economy and society of the United States. These include autonomous vehicles, telemedicine, and a true “Internet of Things” that connects millions of devices, machines, objects, and people. 5G also has important national security applications, such as improving military communication and situational awareness. The fact that, at present, there is no American company that can provide a complete 5G rollout is a concern. As such, the United States should consider new approaches to 5G that increase interoperability, security, vendor diversity, and operator growth.
A common refrain is that 5G could be among the most consequential technological innovations in human history, ushering in a fourth industrial revolution in a few years’ time. While such exuberance should be tempered by the fact that this transformation will almost certainly need longer time to take place, the fact remains that 5G will be the backbone of the global internet economy. It is essential, then, that 5G networks are secure, reliable, robust, and resilient.
Read the full article in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.
More from CNAS
ReportsThe Razor’s Edge: Liberalizing the Digital Surveillance Ecosystem
Democracies must resist the impulses to build permanent digital surveillance infrastructures or risk losing a broader global contest between open societies and repressive regi...
By Kara Frederick
VideoFBI investigating 'coordinated social engineering attack' of high-profile Twitter accounts
Reaction and analysis from Center for a New American Security associate fellow Kara Frederick. View the full conversation on Fox and Friends First....
By Kara Frederick
VideoIs Seeing Still Believing? Synthetic Media and Illiberal Uses of Technology
At this exercise on June 15, 2020, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) challenged the audience to spot the difference between real and synthetic media (digital forge...
By Kara Frederick, Ainikki Riikonen, Megan Lamberth, Dr. Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Sara Fischer, Dr. Aynne Kokas, Danika Laszuk & Maya Wang
CommentaryHealth Surveillance Is Here to Stay
Washington’s post-9/11 debate about how much surveillance a free society should allow has suddenly become about much more than counterterrorism and national security. Amid tod...
By Carrie Cordero & Richard Fontaine